Air Canada’s WiFi, tribunal decision up in the air

Air Canada’s WiFi, tribunal decision up in the air

MONTREAL — Starting this fall Air Canada will begin installing Gogo 2Ku satellite technology on its wide-body fleet, allowing passengers to e-mail, surf the Internet and stream entertainment at broadband speeds while flying anywhere in the world.

Air Canada is the only Canadian carrier to offer customers inflight WiFi connectivity across its entire fleet of narrow-body aircraft in North America. The first aircraft to get the service will be Air Canada’s Boeing 777s.

Also making news for the airline this week, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is investigating whether Air Canada discriminated against an Arab-Canadian man through overzealous use of U.S. aviation security lists.

The investigation of Air Canada’s refusal to let him board a plane comes amid controversy about dozens of Canadian youngsters facing airport delays over security list mixups and high-level efforts by the federal government to resolve the problems in Washington.

The tribunal will determine whether the airline discriminated against the Syrian-Canadian man on grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, or his Muslim religion by denying him service, and whether its reliance on the American lists amounted to a discriminatory practice. The man was denied boarding on an Air Canada flight in July 2011. Air Canada cannot comment on the case because it is before the tribunal, said Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.